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Addition brings back North Shore home’s original charm

photos by Michael Lee/Michael Lee

An American Foursquare with Craftsman elements built in the early 1900s, this Manchester-by-the-Sea home’s original charm had been etched away with an addition in the 1960s. The current owners felt the structure’s integrity could be salvaged. Overlooking Lobster Cove, the property has spectacular views, says Rob MacNeille, principal and president of Carpenter & MacNeille, the firm contracted to design and build a modest addition that enhanced the home’s flow and capitalized on the stellar views.

"We used this as an opportunity to return to the stylistic routes of the original architecture, making the whole house consistent with detailing that represents American Foursquare and Craftsman design," says MacNeille. The kitchen was reconfigured — a process that involved removing the walls of four small rooms around it to create an airy space. The kitchen now opens into a new conservatory with a rounded wall of generous casement windows trimmed with tall transoms oriented toward the cove. A new mudroom functions as extra kitchen storage and prep area with ample area to stash boots, outerwear, and gardening gear.

Carpenter & MacNeille interior designer Wendy Hodgson worked with the homeowners to create a color palette punctuated by shades of green and the hues reflected in the landscape. Copper and antique brass finishes were selected for their time-honored feel and walls are neutral to let the views and woodwork take precedence.

Michael Lee

Kitchen The backsplash is made of 2-by-2 green glass tile in alternating matte and glass finishes that has the appearance of sea glass. The counter is made of Costa Esmeralda granite which is green with big white lines running through it, says Hodgson. A new table was crafted by Essex-based Walker Creek to have a distressed feel that pairs well with the antique hutch.


Conservatory As a nod to Craftsman styling, MacNeille called for pieces of trim to be applied to the walls of the room, where the homeowners gather daily to read and appreciate the view. "The pattern gives the same affect as paneling," says MacNeille. "It's simple and straightforward." Floors are sheathed with a green slate, which echoes the verdant shades visible through the glass.

Mudroom Ceilings are clad with bead board in a natural finish. Brass flush mount light fixtures have an antique vibe. During excavation for the addition, dozens of glass bottles were unearthed in the soil. "We put the bottles with the best coloring and interesting shapes on display on the window sill," says Hodgson. Stephen Terhune Woodworking created the cabinetry and bench.

Jaci Conry can be reached at